— Published 26 August 2021

CAF calls out to Boris Johnson

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The pressure is mounting on English Premier League clubs. After Gianni Infantino, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) is now formally asking the British authorities to grant exemptions to African players so that they can take part in the 2022 World Cup qualifying matches scheduled for next week. The FIFA president had launched the movement by issuing a letter to Boris Johnson, the British Prime Minister, asking him to ensure that players are released. Premier League clubs have taken a collective stance to refuse to allow internationals players to travel to World Cup qualifiers in countries on the UK’s ‘COVID-19 red list’, because of the quarantine measures they would face upon their return from selection. “CAF, on behalf of all African associations, players and fans, has urged the UK government to provide the necessary exemptions as a matter of urgency to allow African players to compete for their countries in the upcoming World Cup qualifiers,” the continental body said in a statement. CAF notes that similar exemptions were granted by the British government to allow the participation of delegations and officials, among others, in the European Championship final held less than two months ago. It is further noted that the situation in African countries on the red list in many cases is in fact less serious than the one for other countries not currently on the list or for which exemptions were previously provided.